EU Cohesion Policy : Reassessing performance and direction book cover
1st Edition

EU Cohesion Policy
Reassessing performance and direction

ISBN 9780367668020
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
344 Pages

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Book Description

The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.

This book brings together academics, members of European institutions, and regional and national level policymakers in order to assess the performance and direction of EU Cohesion policy against the background of the most significant reforms to the policy in a generation. Responding to past criticisms of the effectiveness of the policy, the policy changes introduced in 2013 have aligned European Structural and Investment Funds with the Europe 2020 strategy and introduced measures to improve strategic coherence, performance and integrated development.

EU Cohesion Policy: Reassessing performance and direction argues that policy can only be successfully developed and implemented if there is input from both academics and practitioners. The chapters in the book address four important issues: the effectiveness and impact of Cohesion policy at European, national and regional levels; the contribution of Cohesion policy to the Europe 2020 strategy of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; the importance of quality of government and administrative capacity for the effective management of the Funds; and the inter-relationships between institutions, territory and place-based policies.

The volume will be an invaluable resource to students, academics and policymakers across economics, regional studies, European studies and international relations.


Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

Notes on contributors

Introduction: reassessing the performance and direction of EU Cohesion Policy in 2014–20

John Bachtler, Peter Berkowitz, Sally Hardy and Tatjana Muravska


The impact of Cohesion Policy

1 The long-term effectiveness of EU Cohesion Policy: assessing the achievements of the ERDF, 1989–2012

John Bachtler, Iain Begg, David Charles and Laura Polverari

2 Different approaches to the analysis of EU Cohesion Policy: leveraging complementarities for evidence-based policy learning

Riccardo Crescenzi and Mara Giua

3 Cohesion Policy and regional development

Grzegorz Gorzelak

4 Econometric assessments of Cohesion Policy growth effects: how to make them more relevant for policymakers?

Jerzy Pieńkowski and Peter Berkowitz

5 Does Cohesion Policy affect regional growth? New evidence from a semi-parametric approach

Nicola Pontarollo


The contribution of Cohesion Policy to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

6 An evaluation of the impact of the construction of motorways and expressways in Poland during the period 2004–13 on accessibility and cohesion

Piotr Rosik, Marcin Stępniak and Tomasz Komornicki

7 Demographic implications of 2007–13 regional and Cohesion Policy actions in Latvia

Aleksandrs Dahs

8 The policy challenge in smart specialisation: a common approach meets European diversity

Henning Kroll

9 Resilience and involvement: the role of the EU’s Structural and Investment Funds in addressing youth unemployment

Elizabeth Sanderson, Peter Wells and Ian Wilson

10 Whatever happened to gender mainstreaming? Lessons for the EU’s 2014–20 Structural and Investment Funds

Leaza Mcsorley and Jim Campbell

11 The absorption of Structural and Investment Funds and youth unemployment: an empirical test

Jale Tosun, Stefan Speckesser, Carsten Jensen and Jacqueline O’reilly


The administration and delivery of Cohesion Policy

12 Administrative and political embeddedness: how to improve the institutional environments dealing with the management and implementation of EU Structural and Investment Funds? The experience of new member states

Neculai-Cristian Surubaru

13 Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence of the corruption effect of EU-funded public contracting

Mihály Fazekas and István János Tóth

14 Efficient implementers and partners: what do we miss in our understanding of how Cohesion Policy administrators work?

Andrey Demidov

15 Funds for the wealthy and the politically loyal? How EU Funds may contribute to increasing regional disparities in East Central Europe

Gergő Medve-Bálint

16 The administrative capacity of the sub-national level in implementing Cohesion Policy in Romania: lessons learnt and future recommendations

Septimiu-Rares Szabo


Institutions, territory and place-based policies

17 Territorial capital and EU Cohesion Policy

Ugo Fratesi and Giovanni Perucca

18 What institutional arrangements exist to ensure coherent EU Cohesion Policy planning and implementation?

Liga Baltiņa and Tatjana Muravska

19 Integrated territorial investment: a missed opportunity?

Iván Tosics

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John Bachtler is Professor of European Policy Studies and a Director of the European Policies Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK.

Peter Berkowitz is Head of Unit for Policy Development, Strategic Management and Relations with the Council in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission, Belgium.

Sally Hardy is Chief Executive Officer at the Regional Studies Association, UK.

Tatjana Muravska is Professor in Regional Economy at the University of Latvia and Director of the Centre for European and Transition Studies, Latvia.